Tax and legal advice

Tax worries loom over investors as budget time nears

By Sasha Karen
Worry, voting, review

With this year’s budget just around the corner, property experts are concerned that the government is not doing enough to support investors.

Investors should have a vested interest in the areas they invest in, as any government policy impacting those cites can dictate how property prices move. According to Ken Morrison, CEO of the Property Council of Australia, there needs to be refinement of government policy for improving Australia’s cities.

“The government’s enthusiasm for ‘congestion-busting infrastructure’ is welcome, and no doubt we’ll see more of these projects supported in the last Budget before the next election,” said Mr Morrison.

“However, these projects all need to be part of something bigger: a focused national effort to create great Australian cities that provide the jobs, educational, cultural and recreational opportunities and quality of life that Australians want at all of their life stages.

“New roads and rail lines are essential pieces of our infrastructure, but they are not the whole answer for our growing cities and in some cases these projects are filling an infrastructure deficit rather than planning for growth.”

As population growth will happen most in capital cities, the Property Council of Australia calls for Commonwealth, state and territory and local governments to take action.

“The solution to congestion, housing affordability and liveability is better strategy and delivery across all levels of government to create the kind of cities Australians want to live in,” Mr Morrison said.

“The answer does not rest with ‘quick fixes’ such as cutting immigration levels as some have recently suggested.

“We need to accept that Australia — and our cities in particular — are growing, and that with good policy, smart thinking and the right incentives, we can manage this growth in a way which builds thriving, prosperous and inclusive communities.”

An example of one such policy, according to Mr Morrison, is the Turnbull government’s City Deals initiative, which put forwards plans for Launceston, Townsville, Geelong, Western Sydney, PerthPerth, TAS Perth, WA and Hobart, but there is room for improvement.

“Next week’s budget is an opportunity to make these City Deals ‘the real deal’ through an expanded policy agenda for cities and with funding and reforms for each of our capital cities, as well as incentive payments to encourage states and territories to improve housing supply and affordability,” Mr Morrison said.

“The Australian property industry is already leading the way in building innovative and sustainable urban communities to meet the needs of current and future generations — we’re also looking to all levels of government to put the right policy settings in place so that our cities grow successfully.”

While this is a glance from the national level, other states compound on these worries shared by the Property Council of Australia.

The results of the Victorian Budget by the Andrews Labor government have disappointed the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) and its president Richard Simpson.

“While the Premier says his government is getting things done, it has failed to get one of the most important things done,” Mr Simpson said.

“We believe that a reduction in taxes on land, and on real estate transactions, would incentivise investment and it is hard to understand why the government has missed this opportunity to address the land tax issue.

“Property taxes will account for over $11 billion of the state’s $24 billion tax revenue in 2018–19. It is a heavy burden indeed and one that needs to be reduced … [and] when the government refuses to cut taxes at a time of budget surplus, strong economic growth, Triple A credit ratings and a rapidly growing population, Victorians must be sceptical that it will ever do so.”

Land tax revenue is expected to rise for the next four years, which the REIV state “is bad news for property investment in this state”.

Revenue generated from land transfer duty is also expected to continue to rise in the next few years. The REIV suggest that cuts to land transfer duty would result in strengthened investor activity in the face of no improvements this budget for public housing, the tight rental market and increasing home prices.

“In this election year, the REIV will continue to urge both sides of politics to commit to a reduction in the tax burden on property,” Mr Simpson said.

These fears have permeated the minds of experts by at least a month ago, with the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) calling on the WA government to not bring in any unfair taxes.

“WA already has one of the highest rates of land tax in the country. Any further increases would deter much needed investment, driving up rent prices and pricing the most vulnerable out of the rental market,” said REIWA president Hayden Groves

“The property market has been weak for some time. We are beginning to see some green shoots of recovery but increasing taxes could jeopardise WA’s economic bounce back.”

At the time, the REIWA lobbied for the reintroduction of the First Home Owner Grant of $3,000 for established homes worth less than $430,000, a transfer duty concession for seniors ‘rightsizing’ (the act of moving into a property more suitable to their needs), and for the WA government to not increase property taxes or to make any changes to transfer duty and land tax.

“In the long term a complete tax review is needed to ensure taxes are being utilised as efficiently as possible. REIWA recommends a report into phasing out transfer duty in favour of a broader-based land tax,” Mr Groves said.

“Safe and suitable housing is intrinsic to the success of local communities and the WA government should be doing everything it can to ensure access to home ownership is a reality for everyone.

“Now is not the time to be burdening property with additional taxes.”

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FROM THE WEB

podcast

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Luke’s first property investment included what he now looks back on as “learning experiences”. He chose it only because it was close to where he lived, he bought it at the peak of the market and he elected to manage his (unreliable, damage-prone) tenants alone. Sixteen years on, Luke now has 30 properties and a much better idea about how to approach the investment game.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show Luke joins host Tim Neary to unpack how he went about educating himself, how his investment style has changed over time and why patience is the name of the game.

Luke will also share how his initial mistakes discouraged him and had him doubting the wisdom of being an investor, and how his realisation of the importance of active management bought him back into line.  He will discuss the importance of having a strong support team and why it’s smart to put a proper value on your personal time.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide
Wollongong
Geelong
Melton South
Cairns
Perth

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An unsure start in property investment leads to a 30-property portfolio
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  ["title"]=>
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  string(115) "

Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

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Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Sydney
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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?

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